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96 to 100 degrees kill bedbugs confined to a small area?

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  1. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 9:26:04
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    This quote below is from the bedbug conference article Nobugs posted from the Village Voice:

    “Even temperatures as low as 96 to 100 degrees can kill if they are confined to a closed area,” Potter said.

    This is the first time I've heard this and I'd love to know more. I respect Dr. Potter's knowledge but I feel I'm missing something. What does being confined to a closed area do? I thought it had to be 120-140 to kill them? Can we buy small ziplocks and heat the contents with a hairdryer to 100 degrees?

  2. Bugalina

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 10:15:47
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    Parakeets...Excellent question...I too honed in on this statement...We need more real definitive facts from the experts....

  3. Beatrice

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 10:54:46
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    I'm guessing that the smaller the area the more likely it is that the entire area will reach the desired temp and keep it. I thought 120 to 140 degrees was to be on the safe side.

  4. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 11:02:12
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    I can't imagine how Dallas, Phoenix, and Las Vegas and other hot-hot-hot cities could be suffering with the bedbug problems they have if temperatures of 96-100 degrees kill bedbugs.

  5. Beatrice

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 11:05:29
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    Well it was 100 degrees where I live but my house, with no air on, was still in the 80's.

  6. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 11:15:00
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    Air conditioning is certainly a factor but I don't have air conditioning and it's been over 96 in my apartment several days this summer. My bedbugs do seem to go "hide" when the temperature gets over 90 and they don't bite nearly as much. But I don't think those temperatures are enough to kill them since when it gets cooler again, they come out and feast. At the Boston bedbug conference, a speaker who grew up in Bangladesh said he had bedbugs there as a child. It is very hot in Bangladesh, with no air-conditioning.

  7. buggeroff

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 12:42:55
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    One of the many PCOs I interviewed said they crank the heat up in the house before treating to "speed up the hatching of eggs." He seemed to think he would be doing this in my house even though it's been over 100 degrees this week.

    96 to 100 seems low to me. Many, many insects flourish in that kind of heat. Wonder if humidity matters?

  8. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2007 13:34:06
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    113F IS THE THERMAL DEATH POINT at which, many professionals state that Bed bugs begin to die from the higher temp. Lower humidity as in dry, hot heat--is best. It heats and dries them out quicker.

    120--140F is the target point, and it needs to be sustained, for "some time" (it varies but I ALLWAYS go for 20 minutes more until all clothing is bone-dry).

    Points: re: laundry

    A--a large load of wet laundry would obviously need a lot more time to reach 120 + at the core, or center of the load, than a smaller load would need. This core must be maintained for a minimum of 5 minutes. (I'd use an extra few quarters) the bugs can move into areas that may not be as hot--inside a shoe for instance.

    B--A small load of DRY clothes, put into a drier, would need much less time to reach this 120F sustained temp.

    C--Wet or dry--I aways err on the side of caution.

    Bullets:

    *Not all public dryers reach 120-140F.

    *What if the machine breaks-down on your quarter?

    *A pre-heated drier works best, as the temperature change is rising more dramatically, thus leaving the Bed bug less time to hide or adjust.

    *I always put my hand to the glass. if it is not hot enough--I let the machine run it's course, then I switch machines and I start ALL OVER (re: drying).

    Notes: all temperatures listed in this post are in Fahrenheit not Celsius

    WILLO,

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 1:59:11
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    Be careful--don't take this out of context.

    The article implied Potter was talking about books in a sealed plastic bag being heated at that temp.

    "New Yorkers seeking low-tech solutions should try ... or tying up books and belongings in sealed plastic and baking them on a hot roof for several hours. “Even temperatures as low as 96 to 100 degrees can kill if they are confined to a closed area,” Potter said."

    So a closed space is somewhere they can't flee into a wall or floor or ceiling. A closed space is small and completely airtight.

    I guarantee you 96-100 in a room won't work. I sealed mine up in last summer's NYC heat wave and left for the week.

    Elsewhere--see the article (linked from the FAQ about steaming vacuuming and dryers)-- he makes it really clear the temp for a home has to be much higher, much longer.

    They can run and hide, since the space is not enclosed, and so a higher temp is needed.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  10. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 2:05:47
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    nice save! It is always good to have the full context.

  11. buggeroff

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 8:33:48
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    OK. He means that in 100-degree outdoor weather (and probably on an asphalt roof), stuff in a sealed plastic bag in the sun will get hotter than 100 - same way your car gets hotter. That makes more sense to me. Small packages would probably help deal with David Cain's concern about things heating up too slowly.

  12. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 9:17:24
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    Thanks for all the explanations, everyone. But I'm glad that books can be sealed in a plastic bag and heated to that temperature to get rid of bedbugs.

  13. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 9:17:24
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    Thanks for all the explanations, everyone. But I'm glad that books can be sealed in a plastic bag and heated to that temperature to get rid of bedbugs.

  14. Bugalina

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 10:03:25
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    I think the key words are "thermal insulation"....If a bed bug has little or no thermal insulation it will be more likely to be killed off quicker with heat or freezing. The more protective layers it has, the hard for the heat or cold to reach it, and kill it off. Walls and flooring offer lots of protective layers , that's why the heating method of kill has to be swift, in order that they don't have time to flee into those protective layerings.

  15. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 10:31:59
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    That’s why hitting them quickly and closely with dry hot steam, at a high-noon shoot-out, during summer is so superlative. And I think the key word here is alliteration.

    I hope everyone steps on at least one Bed bug today, somewhere, during your meanderings.

    I've got a limo waiting and well ...
    Chow till Monday all!

    Wiloww, or however it is spelled

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 10 2007 11:40:51
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    He did not say the item had to be in the sun. In this case, I think it's the fact that they can't run and hide, not the fact that it's in the sun or in a car.

    Though doubtless putting them in an airtight-sealed dark bag in an ENCLOSED space in your car or on the roof would (in addition) get hotter than the space. I think Bugalna is right about smaller packages being better, but airtight is key.


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